Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) has rewarded octogenarian pond rejuvenation champion Kamegowda with a free lifetime bus pass, an official said on Thursday.Also Read - No one Helped us Cremate Body: Man Dies of COVID-19 on Monday, Family Keeps Body in Freezer For 48 Hours

“To recognise his yeoman service, I issue lifetime free bus pass for travel in KSRTC buses,” said the road transport corporation managing director Shivayogi C. Kalasad.

Calling him a ‘Man of Ponds’, the transport corporation has entitled him to travel for free in all classes of bus services that KSRTC operates.

Recently, Kamegowda came in for praise by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself for digging ponds.

“Kamegowda has dug 16 ponds through his hard work. He is a simple farmer, but his personality is extraordinary. The work done by him sets him apart from others. At his age, Kamegowda takes cattle for grazing and has dug ponds in his village,” noted Modi in his ‘Mann ki Baat’ address to the nation.

Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa has also appreciated the 85-year-old ponds champion and endorsed the lifetime bus pass.

Kamegowda is known for digging ponds at Dasanadoddi village in Mandavalli taluk of Mandya district. Mandya is about 100 km southwest of Bengaluru on way to Mysuru.

Touted to have the largest air-conditioned Volvo fleet of buses in the country, KSRTC operates services in 17 of the 30 districts across the state and to neighbouring states, including Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Kerala, Maharashtra, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu and Telangana.

The corporation has about 8,650 buses and ferries about 30 lakh passengers daily under normal circumstances.